Michael grew up in Winchester. Michael took a second degree in Fine Art printmaking at London Metropolitan University and achieved a First. Then he attended Lavender Hill Studios – a traditional atelier-style painting school, the first of its kind in the UK. He came back to Winchester and moved to Brassey Road Studio. He was a New English Art Club drawing scholar for 2014. In 2015 Michael won both the Winsor & Newton Award and the Le Clerc Fowle Medal for outstanding group of paintings.
Michael draws and paints in a traditional style, from life. He paints landscapes in oil outside in the en plein air. His still-life oil paintings are done in daylight in the studio.
Michael says: “When I got my first studio space, I wanted to get somewhere with tone. I used to paint a piece of garlic next to a blue cup, over and over, endlessly. Then apples and lemons. Initially the paintings were busier – more apples, five or six. Then some of the apples got painted over. Only three. I’d move them up, move them to the left, move them down. A friend suggested I paint pears, as the colour is quieter. I proceeded with pears for quite a while. Years, in fact. I came across a painting online of a bag of shopping by Jean Cooke. It was gorgeous. Eventually I started a painting on a slightly larger piece of board. I put in a bottle of milk, a packet of coffee, and a pear. The right-hand corner was empty so I added my blue mug. The light was going. The picture had been fine but the cup had ruined it. The next day it looked okay. Maybe it was good to start a larger painting, knowing I could go back to it tomorrow or the day after. I felt like a serious artist, perhaps one about to make a proposal to a museum.”